Rising Star Anita Heise: Use meditation to avoid burnout; It is a wonderful way to quiet the mind, center your thoughts and establish inner peace

Meditation! It is a wonderful way to quiet the mind, center your thoughts and establish inner peace. Staying balanced and opening one’s self up to another way of living is a gift. Nurture yourself, love yourself and take time out for yourself. Taking time out, gives you a chance to recharge, learn, grow and embody […]

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Meditation! It is a wonderful way to quiet the mind, center your thoughts and establish inner peace. Staying balanced and opening one’s self up to another way of living is a gift. Nurture yourself, love yourself and take time out for yourself. Taking time out, gives you a chance to recharge, learn, grow and embody what one learns during meditation. It’s definitely helped me to listen to my inner self and follow my purpose without worrying about something outside of my control. We are bombarded with so much noise and information every day; peace, stillness and being able to hear oneself is a gift. As a result of meditation for me, things began to align and I am able to go with the flow.

As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anita Heise. Anita is a German actress, screenwriter, singer/songwriter, painter and novelist. After 30 years of dreaming about an acting career Anita was brave enough to step into the field of filmmaking with nothing but passion. To date, she has produced many songs, completed paintings and had two novels published. In Divine Feminine, there is the parallel effect of raising consciousness and purpose by sharing her truth through her body of work.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Growing up in the 80s, under the Regime of East Germany, we didn’t have many television channels. We actually had one legal and three illegal channels from West Germany. I have to thank my dad for making that possible. Television wasn’t a big part of my life until the wall came down. Before that moment, I spent most of my time outdoors with nature, experiencing adventures by myself. However, when I watched my first Hollywood movie production something shifted. I was maybe 6 or 7 years old at the time. I recall being so impressed. This film resonated with me on such a profound level, at such a young age. That film was titled ‘Cleopatra’, starring Elizabeth Taylor. The performance she gave was an epiphany for me. I made the decision then and there, to be an actress. Naturally, more films followed introducing me to actors like Doris Day, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis. These talents expanded my decision to not only act, but diversify my acting by focusing on singing and musical performance.

Life and my surroundings had other ideas and I became distracted from this dream. Like many children, I was bullied from pre-school into my late teens in different ways. I was perhaps viewed as naïve, rejected and laughed at for my future goals, dreams and visions. Ironically, in the end all of these experiences pushed me towards movies as an escape. I began to embrace different kinds of films with various themes. What I found in these films, I was not able to find in my actual life. They gifted me truth, friendship, loss, happy endings (I love happy endings) — and love. Looking back, I learned more from movies than everyday life was able to teach. It may sound strange, but the fantasies created by Hollywood saved my life.

Movies also gave me strength to be brave. I had my first stage experience in a high school production. I was sixteen as I wrote and produced my first song, with one of my teachers. Despite of all that, during this period, depression had made its introduction and thoughts about suicide followed not far behind. Life granted me with motherhood through the birth of my son at the young age of seventeen.

Through cycling depression and family life over the next 15 years, movies continued to play a large role and the inner desire pulling me towards films persisted. One day, in 2015, I saw the vision of my youth and what I had dreamed for myself slipping away with age and responsibility. I heard my inner self saying “You always wanted to be a singing actress, what happened?”, “Why didn’t you turn that dream into reality?”

I also answered these questions internally… “Because you have kids, YOU are a mother, that’s your purpose”. Even in my head, they sounded like excuses. As time passed, the voices of doubt would show themselves with their neatly packaged false truths. The things everyone said in my youth were never far behind. It’s strange; words can manipulate a person, especially when the voices in one’s head are playing those words on repeat. It was extremely hard for me to get over this. Repeating things like “You can’t sing and you are not going to make it, you are a loser.”

However, along the way; I had evolved into a different listener. I no longer trusted these voices. I stopped writing novels and began work as extra in 2016. I took time to figure things out for myself and decide if I truly wanted to journey on this path. My passion for making movies grew until I couldn’t ignore the inner drive. I LOVED it. This was not the slow tentative love of an individual. This was a wild, passionate love, only found on screen. The love where happiness swells on cue and the music streams in. The right girl finally gets the guy. The musical orchestra could begin the finale because I was finally in love.

In reality, to make it as actress in Germany, you should have a formal education or industry connections. The fact was, I had neither. So I took time to grow and learn everything about acting from behind the scenes — and this shifted my way of thinking.

Afterall, I had to start somewhere to pursue my dreams and follow my calling. This brought me to the MasterClass online in 2018 and finally an acting workshop in Berlin, with Ron Burrus. If you can imagine, not having spoken the English language for more than ten years and then ending up in a room with an artist who is teaching you the art of acting only in English! I had to retain his words, comprehend the subject, be aware of the context and then verbalize everything he discussed in reply. I have never concentrated that hard in my entire life. His lessons helped me realize that every single experience I’d ever had in my life was preparing me for this path. The first day I was scared to death, but along the way, this fear shifted. By the end of the week and with others watching me, I was able to give my first good, solid performance. One of the most valued lessons that I took from that experience and have incorporated into my craft and life is to stay in the now.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Interesting? Well, I can definitely share one of my strangest stories with you and along the way…hopefully you will find it interesting.

It is not an industry secret, everyone knows that we writers can be neurotic, destructive, reclusive beings, right? So, there was a day back in 2017, where I decided that I would not write another word. I was prepared to die, never having written again. The thing is, when we say a hard ‘never’; the Universe always seems to have another plan. In fact, the whole experience of being a novelist happened by accident in 2013. In those days I had no clue how to write a screenplay. So, I had stopped writing, but I still had the desire to make films and tell stories. Let’s be honest, there are so many stories for me to tell- combined with the inner drive to be an actress, in Germany, without the education or connections, I still had an inner spark. Stories like mine are made for Hollywood because in Hollywood, anything is possible.

So, in steps the Universe to alter my ‘never’. One fine day, I found myself cleaning up the dishes and literally talking out loud to the air. During this moment, a scene unfolded in front of me and I found myself having a serious conversation with John Wick. I know you think; perhaps MANY women fantasize about having Keanu Reeves in their kitchen for more than a chat. The funny or strange thing is; this vision wasn’t some fantasy of an actor, it was a dialog. This dialog helped me to write my first scene and then another and another, until I had finished my first screenplay. I had written this screen play in an entirely different language. Granted I am sure it wasn’t grammatically correct. But in the end, what I did, enabled me to move forward with other projects. That experience helped me to build a foundation in my own special way, not just as an actress.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Uh, kind of. My first day on set, I had absolutely no clue about what to do or how to act. I wasn’t even sure how to move properly. I was finally instructed to walk in a very specific way. While doing so, I stopped short suddenly because someone (unscripted) came towards me. I was kind of startled and looked over at my instructor — who was standing outside of the frame. They yelled cut and stopped filming. I realized that I had made a huge mistake. Damn, that was a strange feeling. I wanted to give up instantly and the director was not happy with my first effort. In the end though, it all worked out in my favor. The lesson from it? No matter how kind you are as a person, no one will want to work with you if you’re not attentive enough and able to get your work done correctly. I recalled the words of Morgan Freeman…“LISTEN!”… so, I listened.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Currently, I have mounted production on my first Action Thriller Web-Series. In addition to this, I am working on several screenplays. One is a comedy about screenwriters; another is a romantic Christmas story. I also have a female superhero in the works. I have many ideas and projects. Ah, also an action comedy, centered around actors and finally a science fiction piece about aliens. All of these ideas and creations are the exciting part. The interesting part is how to transform them into entertaining works for people. You know, back all that I have received from films. Sharing my truth and inspiration is what’s challenging but fantastic!

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Tom Tykwer. He’s a fantastically laid back director and spirit. How he interacts with a cast and crew, he executes this with such calmness and respect, it is absolutely amazing. I loved it! In my first year as an extra, I spent a lot of time on the set of Babylon Berlin. There were days of hanging around with hundreds of extras and I experienced a few days of filming with just a few of us. There was a familiarity among us and for the first time in my whole life, there was a feeling of home. There was an unspoken harmony between cast and crew. I was accepted by everyone, even Tom. I also learned that his kind of attitude and feeling is not common in this business. So for that reason, I appreciate every opportunity to work with him.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Meditation! It is a wonderful way to quiet the mind, center your thoughts and establish inner peace. Staying balanced and opening one’s self up to another way of living is a gift. Nurture yourself, love yourself and take time out for yourself. Taking time out, gives you a chance to recharge, learn, grow and embody what one learns during meditation. It’s definitely helped me to listen to my inner self and follow my purpose without worrying about something outside of my control. We are bombarded with so much noise and information every day; peace, stillness and being able to hear oneself is a gift. As a result of meditation for me, things began to align and I am able to go with the flow.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

You know, as a teenager I always showed kindness towards the people who bullied me. Of course there was a phase where I tried to defend myself and practiced ‘an eye for an eye’, but in the end I apologized to anyone I ever harmed. Something deep inside me always resonated love. Love towards every form of life. Years have passed and my thoughts have shifted. Life’s events and time have allowed me to learn these lessons. So the movement that I would start would be related to showing and spreading kindness. In 2016, I made the decision to walk my path and change of myself. Through humility, abandoning my ego and connecting to God or the Universe, I have completely transformed and been opened to the signs of my life. However I often wonder; why the arduous journey to reach this place of peace? Is this place of peace the destination where nothing else moves forward?

I am a Divine Feminine sharing a movement. A movement about love…self-love, unconditional love, acceptance and compassion towards every being! My entire belief-system has changed. The difference? Well, Twin Flames have no choice but to get rid of the conditioned ways of thought. Old patterns can overcome the ego once awakened through our Twin. We are triggered by them and pushed by the Source, Universe, Spirit or God towards change, until we are healed. Only then are we free from identification with anything that doesn’t serve our soul-purpose or mission.

Unconditional love! This is a beautiful way to bring love into the world, because everyone deserves love — even Donald Trump for instance. You can’t harbor anger towards people once you start to see the roots of why they conduct themselves in certain ways. Every great actor tells you to make a difference. Well, unconditional love and compassion — that’s the difference, Twin Flame to and fro! That’s what I know. Most societies are still living like slaves. Slaves to their own thoughts! They carry their burdens and are mirroring their emotions without realizing what’s really happening. Now that I have this awareness, I’m able to implement this new consciousness into my everyday life. I love LOVE, and I always did. I will share compassion and spread unconditional love to all people. Regardless of their past, how they look or where they are from. Every being carries the same light within them that I carry within me.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Always stay in the now! Since I stay in the now I’m aware of the things around me and opportunities. I don’t distract myself, my mood or my truth through people, things or situations. I’m more focused and passionate about things.

2. Trust your intuition and listen to your gut feelings! As soon as you become conscious about the ego, that voice in your head — which tries to tell you who you are or doubt you’re ability- goes silent. You learn to FEEL what’s right for you. My first gut feeling always gets my attention. I sit with this feeling, observe it and draw a conclusion when the time feels right for me.

3. Embrace every situation! Success or Failure! Kate Blanchett has said that she ‘jumps right into one failure after another’, and she’s doing it absolutely right. We don’t know what the future holds or how a situation will unfold. It is hard to believe that you will be successful in the future, if you are making decisions based on past failures. Every decision and situation carries the weight of both sides. The secret? Don’t expect anything, accept everything. As soon as you are able to accept the now as it unfolds, you’re instantly able to see what’s really going on. You are not afraid to fail. We grow through failure and if that’s the case, then “Fail big!” — Wise words from Denzel Washington!

4. Be Yourself always and in every circumstance! No matter who is in front of you. Don’t let anyone else’s label tell you who you are or determine how you act towards others. That can be considered a “fail” for transforming under the pressure of judgment! Find your inner peace, embrace who you are and stay in your truth. Stop pleasing people because of a status or other factors. No amount of status or any label can hide the true person. If one feels triggered, that instantly can signal a conflict of ego and if you feel triggered now … well, process the conflict of ego.

5. Never work against the Universe! Oh, things can become very uncomfortable when you are not listening to your intuition or higher self, believe me. Stones grow to mountains in front of you and you will feel like there’s no way out. Nothing is allowed to flow freely and people suddenly become opponents. You should shift the perspective, clear your mind and listen! Listen, listen, listen! As long as you are not listening, you will experience the same cycles and lessons over and over again. Do yourself a favor and get out of negative thinking or overthinking. Don’t cling to past or future — you can’t change the first one and don’t know the second. Refute anything that tries to distract you from your being. When you’re aligned with yourself, things will begin to flow again.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Put God first!” — Denzel Washington. When you follow this advice, you are more grateful, more peaceful, more caring and respectful. Not just towards others, but towards yourself too.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

It’s not just one person; Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Keanu Reeves and Oprah Winfrey. Those are just a few.

In the end, every person who’s involved in making films has inspired me to follow my dreams, to be a better version of myself — mastering myself, staying alive, appreciating the beauty in everything and everyone. To live a life of gratitude! They appear to be living truthfully, authentically, passionately and with great wisdom that extends beyond their craft and work.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

All of the creative talents I’ve mentioned before, it would be a humble honor to talk with them about life, lessons and to learn who they are by hearing their journeys. I enjoy being with people who are inspiring. At the end of the day, making films is not just about making money, it’s about bringing one’s passion and visions to the screen. It is a vulnerable process, in an attempt to put something good out into the world. A good number of films are showing this. Talking about films is one of my favorite topics.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

At this point in time, only on Facebook.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

Thank you for having me!

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